OTW Fannews: What’s in a name?

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  • While ‘Fangirl’ is a much less used term in the media than ‘Fanboy’, both often come in for a shellacking when they do appear. WhatCulture.com used it when citing 10 Moments That Gave Fanboys A Bad Name. Perhaps, for once, women benefited from being erased since at least half the examples they cited occurred in predominantly female fandom circles.
  • VentureBeat meanwhile argued that ‘Fanboy’ is an overused term. ” I realize that no one can simply grab the Internet by the shoulders and ask it to stop crying “fanboy!” every time someone shows their enthusiasm for something. But that’s not what this article is about. The point I’m trying to make by writing this is that a person’s point of view may not be clear over the Internet and that during a discussion, the gaming community should make an attempt to understand where the other side is coming from.”
  • Meanwhile Apex Magazine argued that ‘Fangirl’ isn’t a dirty word. “We’re battling decades of institutionalized sexism, racism, and imperialism. We’re working on it. We may still be struggling with all of the —isms but we’re clawing our way toward second wave fandom, particularly when it comes to female fans sharing the dais. We recognize that women really do game, read comics and geek out over all the things guys geek out over. But even in this enlightened age, the gendered term ‘fangirl’ has become a casual slur, used with impunity to mock and ridicule a certain type of fan.”
  • It’s certainly not difficult to spot troubling issues that fans face — whether it’s receiving offers to turn pro in all the wrong ways, finding a hostile environment for female professionals and fans alike at conventions, being exposed to demeaning reactions to one’s appearance when posting YouTube content, having one’s fannish endeavors misrepresented to a general audience or having only certain kinds of fanworks appear in the spotlight. But labels can be an enduring problem, especially when they’re misused.

How do you see fanboys or fangirls talked about? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.